kirsty-young

Kirsty Young officially stepping down from BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs

Kirsty Young is leaving the show to explore new opportunities

Emmy Griffiths

After a long break due to illness, Kirsty Young has confirmed that she is leaving BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs permanently after her illness "altered [her] perspective" on her career. In a statement, she said: "Having been forced to take some months away from my favourite job because of health problems. I'm happy to say I'm now well on the way to feeling much better. But that enforced absence from the show has altered my perspective on what I should do next and so I've decided it's time to pursue new challenges."

Kirsty opened up about leaving the popular radio show

She also said that she had enjoyed her "12 incredible happy and fulfilling years on the show" in the role she originated in 2006. The BBC have confirmed that Lauren Laverne, who was covering for Kristy, will continue in the role "for the foreseeable future". During her time on the show, Kirsty interviewed stars including Annie Lennox and David Beckham.

Fans were disappointed with the news, with one person writing: "Sad news. Kirsty Young has decided to step down from presenting Desert Island Discs, having decided "it’s time to pursue new challenges". She did 496 episodes over 12 years. For what it's worth, I thought she was absolutely superb. The podcast was essential listening." Another person added: "Absolutely hated it when she came in but that was BEFORE I listened... She made it her own and did so with such subtlety. Brilliant."

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Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes widespread pain over the body, and other symptoms can include extreme tiredness, muscle stiffness, headaches, memory problems and IBS. Famous faces who suffer from the condition include Lady Gaga, who was forced to cancel shows on her tour due to her illness. Speaking about the syndrome, she said: "I wish to help raise awareness & connect people who have it." Morgan Freeman has also suffered from fibromyalgia after his hand was paralysed in a car crash in 2008. He told Esquire: "It's the fibromyalgia. Up and down the arm. That's where it gets so bad. Excruciating."

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